Relocating while in the Army
If you or your spouse are among the 485,000 members of the active-duty Army in the U.S., being ready to move is likely a big part of your life.
If you’ve received orders for a permanent change of station (PCS), it’s time to start planning! Continue reading below to learn about the specifics for moving while in the Army. Then check out our complete guide to military moving for additional details and download our printable PCS checklist to help keep your move on track.
Why an Army PPM or DITY move might be right for you
In the Army, soldiers can choose a Personally Procured Move (PPM) — formerly known as a Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move — when they PCS inside the continental U.S. (CONUS). In this type of move, you handle all the arrangements and payments upfront and then submit receipts for reimbursement.
Many military families go with a PPM because it’s the most flexible with dates and services. Plus, the government will reimburse you 100% of the expenses (based on what they would have paid a military moving company). This is a permanent increase from the 95% reimbursement offered prior to May 2020 according to Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
An Army PPM doesn’t have to be stressful. With the proper preparation and the right moving company, the move can go smoothly while you continue to serve our country.
Preparing for an Army move
After you've confirmed the orders with the transportation office (TO), here are some other steps you can take to help prepare for the move.
- Contact the Relocation Readiness Program
Army Community Service offers this comprehensive support system to assist during and after a move.
- Download the Army’s PCS mobile app
Launched in April 2020, “Army PCS Move” is available in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. It serves as a centralized hub of information related to military moving with information about paperwork and proper procedures.
- Choose a moving company
The Army advises soldiers to choose a company registered and approved with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Approved long-distance moving companies like U-Pack® have experience with military moves, offer discounts for service members and understand the need for weight tickets for reimbursement.
- Request travel vouchers from DFAS*
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) processes PCS vouchers for Army military members. They offer an Army PCS Travel Voucher Guide with instructions for soldiers. Along with your TO, the DFAS can answer specific questions about advanced travel pay and reimbursement for moving expenses.
- Plan your route and overnight stops
You’ll have to provide an itinerary to the TO for Army PCS travel. Plan a driving route to your new location and make arrangements for overnight stops along the way to stay within your per diem budget. Ask the TO if you have any questions about the types of receipts required for travel reimbursement.
*If you’re a Government Travel Charge Card (GTCC) holder, advance travel payments may not be authorized. Contact the TO for specific details.
Support for your family after moving
When your PCS is complete, look into the Army Family Team Building Program. This program offers local support in helping soldiers and their families adjust and provides education about the military, what to expect while living on base and other services available at the new station.
Let U-Pack handle your Army PPM
U-Pack is a cost-effective way to relocate. With our services, you pack and load your belongings, and we’ll handle the driving. We allow up to 3 business days for loading and unloading and average 4-6 business days for transit. We can provide both empty and full certified weight tickets (which are necessary for reimbursement,) and your things stay safe in the same moving equipment until you’re ready to unload.
More articles you might like...